Mothers and Daughters and Beauty

A few months ago The New York Times published a slide show of Models and Their Mothers. Photographer Howard Schatz has been taking pictures of models with their mothers for a dozen years. He’s interested in the genetic transmission of beauty as well as “how they interact with each other.”

Schatz says the models have “a hard time” just relaxing in front of the camera, because they want to “[tell] the camera how it’s supposed to see them.” The photos are wonderful to flip through, and the interaction is, in fact, fascinating to observe.

Camila Dubay and her mother Lourdes.
The juxtaposition of height is striking. I love that they are simply holding hands.

Ruby Brown and her mother Adele.
I don’t see the facial resemblance but they seem close.

Viola Haqi and her mother Joke de Vree.
Wow, they look like twins separated only by the years. Both are striking.

Ashley Dickey Newman and her mother Cindy Dickey.
This is my favorite pic. I adore the daughter’s wild mane in contrast to her mom’s spiky cut. But I see the
resemblance in their eyes.

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  1. Beautiful and interesting photos. I wonder what a picture of my mother and me would be like… She hates having her photo taken, so she would be self-conscious. I can't quite imagine the day when my girls are adults, hope we will be close enough for hand-holding and hugging and joint photo sessions! xxxx

  2. Wow these pics are powerful! The young women look relaxed with their mums, aware of the camera, yet I sense they don't feel like "performing" for the lens. Striking!

  3. I found this post extremely interesting! The connection between generations is always there, whether it is strong or not…J

  4. Interesting post…I hadn't seen this series. Debbie @

  5. My mother and me would be like Camila in the top picture. My mother is tiny. I have my father's legs in length and my mother's legs in shape. Would have been terrible if it had been the other way around hahaha.

  6. I love these! The whole set on the NYT website is fascinating. Some of the relationships look very complicated! I think my favorite is Ruby & Adele Brown (above.) They look quite happy!

  7. I think beauty is definitely genetic, but circumstances effect it too. I'd like to see both parents to see if, for example, the first model's height came from her father's side or out of the blue.

    I was told my whole life that I was the spitting image of my mother. It can get a bit unflattering when you're 30 years younger and quite a lot slimmer! But she was an awesome woman and I'm proud to carry her genes!

  8. What lovely portraits of the mother, daughter relationship. It is in that that the real beauty of this series lies!

  9. Oh how I love the beauty of youth ,the pride in the eyes of mothers and the love in the eyes of daughters.The divine connection between the new improved generation and the old one.

  10. The older I get, the more I see how strongly I resemble my mother. Our colouring is totally different, but the jawline, the nose, the mouth — hers exactly, translated onto my face. I don't really know how I feel about it, to be honest.

    So I found this post really interesting, is what I'm trying to say, I guess.

  11. What a cool project. I thought at first glance that Ashley Dickey Newman was a young Geena Davis – that incredible hair! I can kind of see how the models are very aware of the camera and are "relaxing" with their image in mind, as opposed to their mothers' gazes which seem more stripped down – except for Joke de Vree. Stunning mothers.

  12. Dearest Patti,
    They should post such comparison far more often! Quite interesting to see the differences one generation can make. It is hard to judge the similarity by just ONE shot…
    Happy weekend!
    Mariette's Back to Basics

  13. How beautiful all these ladies are. I think I look a lot like my mom, but I can easily point out my other family (my dad, my aunt, my grandmother) in my features too. It bothered me for awhile, but now I find it comforting. I know who my family is.

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